A landslide on a section of the bank of China's Yangtze River near the Three Gorges Dam may fall into the river but will not block it, experts said Tuesday.
Cracks had been seen in the landslide and its shape had continued to change, said Yin Yueping, deputy chief of the investigation team, deputy general engineer of China Geological Survey.
Traffic on the river will not be stopped although the landslide may fall into the river, Yin said.
The landslide will be monitored round the clock, said Zhou Shihong, deputy director of the municipal Bureau of Land and Resources.
A portion of the river's southern bank in Guling township, Yunyang County of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality broke loose from the rest of the bank since November last year, when the cofferdams of the Three Gorges Dam tried to hold water at a depth of 175 meters, Zhou said.
The dislocation had worsened since March and quickened pace in recent days, Zhou said.
The 55 people living on the sliding portion, called the Liangshuijing landslide, have been evacuated.
According to the observation center, the soil in the landslide is estimated to be 3.6 million cubic meters, covering 100,000 square meters.
Nearly 10,000 vessels pass through this section of river each year, about 300 vessels per day with 23,000 passengers per day.
Eight coastguard vessels had been working on the river and no casualties or accidents had been reported, Zhou said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2009)